One of the things I appreciate in Bly’s writing, as I continue through his Collected Poems, is his commitment to a solitude and privacy. He writes of sourcing that comes out of the subtle, underneath the fields of the loud and the obvious.
I continue to learn that there is important sourcing that comes from willingness to be quiet, or committed to the dark, that tends to grow belly knowing.
Bly writes “Six Winter Privacy Poems.” The fifth and sixth are below, witnessing what can come from the quiet. I’m grateful for his words.
There is solitude like black mud!
Sitting in the darkness singing.
I can’t tell if this joy
Is from the body, or the soul, or a third place!
When I wake, new snow has fallen,
I am alone, yet someone else is with me,
Drinking coffee, looking out at the snow.
Often I’m content to be with the poetry itself. With no need to “use” it beyond the feeling and wonder of the moment. But, if I were using Bly’s words to create encounter with a group, today’s invitation to pick up a piece might be, “What does solitude teach you?” Or, “What have you encountered as third place?” Or, “What might the new snow have to teach you (us) these days?” Or…,
Here’s to celebrating what comes out of privacy.
2 Replies to “Winter Privacy Poems — Robert Bly”
Lovely, as I sit and watch the snow fall again on a Monday morning, and consider the tension in which I currently sit: yearning for community of belonging (as felt in recent night dreams), and turning into recluse.
Indeed. I love your noticing Katharine.